Delany Hotel on Darby Street listed for sale by hoteliers Gary and Anthony Hird

A Darby Street institution has hit the market.  

The Delany Hotel, at the heart of one of the city’s main eat streets, is being offloaded by licensee Gary Hird and his son, Anthony.

It marks the end of an era for the Hird family, who have spent nearly two decades at the helm of the Cooks Hill operation. They bankrolled the renovation of the pub in 2009, at an estimated cost of up to $6 million.

“The venue holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all locals,’ said Dean Moore of Moore & Moore Real Estate, who is selling the property in conjunction with CBRE Hotels’ Ben McDonald and Daniel Dragicevich. 

Mr Moore described it as an “absolute honour” to bring the pub to the market. 

“Even though the Hirds have steered it well during their tenure, I look forward to what new lease of life the next operator can breathe into the operation.” 

The pub owes its name to Newcastle businessman Victor R. Delany, who commissioned the design of the original building in 1924. 

At one stage, The Delany was one of 13 hotels in the space of four blocks along Darby Street, which was then known as Lake Road. 

The watering hole was owned by Mike and Patty Chapman for 14 years before it was sold to the Hirds in late 1998. 

The sum paid by the Hirds – then resort-operators from Port Stephens – was never disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement. 

In September this year, they lodged a development application to extend the pub’s trading hours from midnight until 2am. Neither of the licensees could be reached for comment on Wednesday. 

Mr McDonald said the property was close to the developing Civic and East End precincts, and boasted redevelopment potential, a late trading hotel license and 22 poker machine entitlements. 

“The Hotel Delany has long been one of the most asked about pubs in Newcastle and we have no doubt there will be significant interest from hoteliers around the state – particularly from Novocastrian operators but also from mixed use developers and commercial property investors,” he said. 

It comes following a flurry of buying activity within the last 12 months, with The Prince, The Duke of Wellington, The Exchange and The Nags Heads hotel all passing into new hands.